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Overview

Calfee’s Public Utility, Energy and Telecommunications Litigation practice group is exclusively focused on the unique issues faced by public utilities, their customers, and market competitors. Calfee attorneys have been involved in many of the significant regulatory cases in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and FERC, and have litigated utility-related claims in state and federal courts in multiple states. There is a reason our clients have trusted us with their multi-billion-dollar litigation.

Calfee’s Public Utility, Energy and Telecommunications Litigation group recognizes that public utility litigation is unique. Public utility litigation involves all of the issues of traditional litigation, demanding counsel with experience in litigating major cases. However, utility litigation also involves a host of interactions with governmental authorities, a significant factor that is not present in traditional litigation. 

Utilities must also be conscious of the potential impact that regulatory litigation may have on Commission staff, the Power Siting Board, local governments, and potential legislative involvement. Calfee’s knowledge and expertise in this area allow us to be a full-service provider, structured and operated in a manner that recognizes that utility issues significantly impact the public and, therefore, have fundamental governmental implications.

We represent, or have represented, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, municipal electric utilities, municipal water and sewer utilities, cooperatives, natural gas distribution companies, intrastate natural gas pipelines, local telephone and cellular telecommunications carriers, brokers, and industrial customers.

Our attorneys operate in concert with the firm’s Government Relations and Legislation group. This team approach allows us to achieve timely results that meet our clients’ immediate, strategic and long-term needs. We recognize that our clients’ issues are best served when regulators, customer advocates, elected officials and their staffs are fully informed. Accordingly, we make our clients’ views and concerns known to and understood by regulatory and elected decision makers at all levels through both formal advocacy and lobbying efforts.

We use our broad governmental, financial, corporate, litigation and public law experience to provide innovative, business-oriented solutions to the complex issues that confront our clients.

Noteworthy

Chambers USA Band 3 Ranking in Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio)

For well over a decade, our Litigation group and individual litigation attorneys have been ranked and recognized by Chambers USA. In 2021, Chambers USA researchers noted that the team "Frequently advises on plaintiff and defense-side commercial litigation matters, offering considerable strengths in securities, product liability, antitrust and construction disputes. Also offers experience in criminal litigation, defending a range of individuals and businesses facing regulatory enforcement actions. Acts for clients in sectors including healthcare, financial services and manufacturing." 

A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers commented, "The entire team provides outstanding legal services." Another adds, "The team as a whole is fantastic."

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2021 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Energy Regulatory Law (Metropolitan Tier 2 Columbus).

Benchmark Litigation Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion by Benchmark Litigation as a "Highly Recommended" litigation firm in Ohio in the area of Dispute Resolution. Additionally, several of Calfee's Litigation attorneys have been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as "Local Litigation Stars – Ohio" and as “40 & Under Hot List Honorees – Midwest.”

Professionals

Experience

Experience

  • Representing electric utility seeking Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approval of multi-billion-dollar electric security plan under R.C. 4928.143 or market rate offer under R.C. 4928.142.
  • Obtaining state regulatory commission approval that allowed incumbent carrier to withdraw mandatory yet uneconomic services, saving millions annually.
  • Led the prosecution of a FERC interstate pipeline rate case, exceeding client goals and obtaining $100,000 award against an Intervenor for frivolous claims.
  • Representing a municipal electric utility in a $128 million class action alleging improper billing practices.
  • Representing gas utility client in a rate proceeding receiving Illinois’ first ever order approving a gas energy efficiency program.
  • Representing a regional transmission organization in complaint proceedings before FERC and in appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
  • Representing one of the nation’s largest utilities in a multi-million-dollar breach of contract dispute, achieving a settlement worth $200 million to the client.
  • Defending public utilities against wrongful death, personal injury and property damage actions at the trial court level and on appeal in multiple jurisdictions including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • Representing competitive retail electric service provider in proceedings challenging terms of electric utilities’ electric security plans and contesting an electric utility’s need to construct a solar facility to satisfy alternative energy portfolio standards.
  • Representing electric utility in proceedings seeking approval of $250 million Energy Efficiency and Peak Demand Reduction Portfolio Plans mandated by Ohio law.
  • Led the successful negation of FERC audit penalty, achieving a 70% reduction in amount sought by Office of Enforcement.
  • Successfully litigated utility tax overcharge for municipal taxes at the state regulatory commission.
  • Representing national environmental organization before Ohio Power Siting Board regarding the construction of a natural gas-fired power station adjacent to wetlands.
  • Representing Ohio political subdivisions before Ohio Power Siting Board regarding the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the political subdivisions.
  • Representing utility client in contested matter achieving reversal of $25 million rate base ruling in rate case proceeding.

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"The entire [Litigation] team provides outstanding legal services."

"The team as a whole is fantastic."

Client comments from the Chambers USA 2021 Guide

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